Wrangell running group The Southeast Beasts is now officially a nonprofit organization.
Lucy Robinson is the founder and executive director of the Southeast Beasts. She said she felt a sense of relief when the application was recently approved because the group has put in a lot of work over the last year.
“It was really exciting,” Robinson said. “And I felt like we had finally accomplished something that will potentially benefit the entire community.”
In the nearly three years since its first race, the group has hosted events from 5Ks to full marathons to raise money for individuals’ medical expenses, the Wrangell Medical Center Cancer Care Fund, and the food bank.
The Southeast Beasts applied for nonprofit status last year to make the group eligible for grant funding. More funding would help the group provide more incentives for Wrangell residents to stay active.
Robinson said there is still a lot to do before the group’s nonprofit status really starts to make an impact. For now, the Beasts will keep hosting fun runs.
“As far as what the community will see with regards to the nonprofit status, I think it will be more long term,” Robinson said. “We’ll start to kick out maybe more door prizes, better snacks and incentives–especially for kids coming to our events–we really want to get kids out.”
Robinson said since hosting the first turkey trot in 2012, the Southeast Beasts have held about 30 fun runs and raised close to $20,000.
“Which is a pretty sizable number. And with the potential grant funding, I think we can earn even more,” Robinson said. “I think offering fun incentives for people really helps to bring crowds out, and better advertising and things like that. So I think we’ll be able to do even more.”
The next Southeast Beasts fun run will be for Alaska Day in October. The group plans to bring live music to town for that event.